Conflict resolution among children in a kindergarten class inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach

Porat, Anat (2011) Conflict resolution among children in a kindergarten class inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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This study investigated the conflict resolution abilities employed by 3-4 year old children within an Israeli kindergarten that was inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach in Italy. Conflict resolution is a significant phenomenon worldwide and the subject of considerable research, due to potential negative outcomes from involvement in conflict, and escalation of the conflict to a stage of violence. Nevertheless, a gap in knowledge was identified, regarding the Reggio Emilia educational approach, as an intervention to support the development of children‘s social-emotional competence to enable them to resolve interpersonal conflicts using pro-social strategies. An in-depth case study was conducted using grounded theory principles to develop a model to answer the question: To what extent might a Reggio Emilia inspired approach support resolution of interpersonal conflicts between 3-4 year old children in an Israeli kindergarten class? The rich qualitative data were gathered through video filmed observations, teacher's semi-structured interviews, children's interviews, documents, and field notes. A four-phase content analysis of the data enabled conceptualisation of the characteristics of the educational setting and the children's conflict resolution strategies. The findings allowed the emergence of a model evidencing that both direct and indirect intervention strategies were used to support the conflict resolution among the children. Teachers responded in a range of ways to children's request for direct intervention, and most especially used a clarification-mediation conversation. Indirectly, they promoted democratic pedagogy with children through participation, listening and dialogue. The findings reveal the children's development in their conflict resolution, which indicate a significant advancement in their pro-social negotiation abilities. Additionally, the findings show a significant increase in the children's spontaneous intervention as peer observers of the conflict and a decrease in their request of teacher intervention. The research suggests that over time, no extra-curricular intervention is needed within a supportive and democratic educational approach, such as the Reggio Emilia inspired approach provides. It illuminates strategies to support teachers, teacher trainers and policy makers for enabling children resolving conflicts independently using pro-social strategies. The research contributes to knowledge regarding selecting an intervention for improving kindergarten children's conflict resolution strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: conflict resolution, Reggio Emilia approach, democratic pedagogy, early childhood, sociocultural theories
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2013 09:36
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:02

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